What does Valencia have to offer? The answer is everything! Endless fiestas, the fire and passion of las Fallas, a host of cutting-edge cultural events, clean beaches and a wonderful sunny Mediterranean climate, incredible gastronomy and a solid infrastructure for business trips. Valencia combines the friendliness of the south with the practicality of the north and travellers are generally given a warm welcome by the open, unpretentious people of the city.
The orange Valencia
Valencia is Spain’s third largest city, situated at the centre of the Spanish Mediterranean coastline on a strip known as Costa del Azahar, opposite the Balearic Islands, halfway between Madrid and Barcelona. In recent years, Valencia has become a popular holiday destination and a great choice for weekend breaks on the continent, attracting new visitors away from the traditional tourist haunts of the Costa Blanca.
Valencia...not just architecture
There are roughly 1 million inhabitants in Valencia and the languages spoken are Castilian (Spanish) and Valencian. A strong sense of cultural identity prevails and the local government is very keen to promote cultural events and keep traditions alive. Various fiestas take place through out the whole year but the largest and most spectacular is, without doubt, las Fallas.
Las Fallas happens on March 19th every year; each neighbourhood spends the whole year fundraising for this event and builds some sort of enormous construction to be burnt on this day, filling the streets of Valencia with the warmth and light of bonfires and fireworks. There is something very genuine about the fiestas in Valencia; here visitors can have the rare experience of observing local traditions without the feeling that it is a show put on for the tourists.
El Carmen, the historical part of town is a beautiful neighbourhood full of winding streets and wonderful architecture dating back to Roman and Arabic times. The neighbourhood, or “barrio” in Spanish, is crowned by Plaza de la Reina. Other major attractions include the enormous modernist style Central Market (Mercado Central), the art-deco style railway station, Plaza de la Virgen, the Cathedral, the Gothic silk exchange building (la lonja de seda) and the Torres de Serranos, the ancient gateway to the walled city.
The newest and most popular tourist attractions to the city are the Oceanografic Sealife Centre and the spectacular, futuristic City of Arts and Sciences, designed by Santiago Calatrava. The Turia Gardens, in the dry riverbed is a beautiful park full of ponds, paths, fountains, flowers, football pitches, cafes and quiet places to escape the bustle of the city.
But let’s not forget that Valencia is a beach city although the clean waters and fine golden sand will make you feel as though you were a million miles away from the metropolis. The port area, home to the America’s Cup, really comes alive in summer and is home to some of Valencia’s finest nightlife and paella restaurants. More and more tourists discover what this city has to offer each year and yet, it manages to maintain its unique character and authenticity. Experience a traditional, unpretentious yet modern and exciting part of Spain….experience Valencia!
Hotels near popular Valencia tourist attractions
- Central Market video
- City of Arts and Sciences video
- Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía video
- Plaza del Ayuntamiento video
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